You’ve always been wary of driving next to a lumbering semi on I-49, but now that a high-profile case involving tired truckers has surfaced, you’re not sure you want to take the highway at all. Although actor Tracy Morgan was struck by a Wal-Mart truck hundreds of miles from Kansas City, there are still Wal-Mart trucks barreling down Route 71 on a daily basis. Are they all being driven by truckers who have gone days without rest?
Wal-Mart Trucks May Be Equipped With Electronic Recorders
Proponents of highways safety have long insisted that interstate commercial trucks and buses should all be equipped with electronic recording devices instead of paper driver logs. These devices would make it more difficult to manipulate driver logs and force drivers to maintain federally mandated hours of service.
The good news is that many Wal-Mart trucks already have such devices installed. The bad news is that the recorders don’t seem to be reducing the risks of a semi crash. Consider the following:
- Shortly after the Tracy Morgan case, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman attested that the company’s trucks have GPS and electronic logging systems. These devices can track not only where the vehicles are, but can tell a lot about what the driver is doing.
- Evidence suggests that the Wal-Mart truck in Morgan’s case also had anti-collision technology installed. This device is supposed to alert drivers to the presence of cars in neighboring lanes, and should automatically apply the brakes if the truck is approaching slow-moving traffic.
- Despite these advances, the Wal-Mart truck was not prevented from striking and overturning a much smaller vehicle.
- Large companies such as Wal-Mart often employ independent drivers for their deliveries. While technology may record a driver’s time behind the wheel, many truckers continue to be paid by the mile, encouraging them to take as few breaks as possible.
This does not mean that you do not have a case if you are hit by a Wal-Mart truck. Actually, since the trucking company is known to have automatic logs, you are likely to be able to prove if a trucker has broken his hours of service rule. However, you will likely need the help of an attorney to get the driving logs before they are destroyed. Read through our client testimonials to find out how we have helped victims like you collect vital evidence that can make or break your case.